University of Benin (UNIBEN), Edo State, has rusticated five of its students for leading a protest against increase in school fees of the institution.
The students staged a peaceful protest in November, 2017, after the school management increased various fees.
The UNIBEN Senate wasn’t happy about the demonstration and rusticated the institution’s Student Union Government (SUG) President, Osamudiamen Ogidi, and other excos: Jistis Aidenagbon, Innocent Momodu, Goodnrwd Ehoabhi and Benjamin Majekodunmi.
Three of them will remain at home for one academic session, while the other two will miss two consecutive academic sessions, which has spiked social media protest against the decision of the institution.
They’ve also been barred from holding any office on the campus or participate in student union activities.
A statement issued by the institution’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Michael Osasuyi, said the protest was targeted at disrupting the 47th Founders Day lecture and 43rd Convocation ceremony of the institution, “because the university is to train students in learning and character.”
Meanwhile, SUG Vice President, Miss Frances Ifeoma Okogwa, has been sworn in as the acting president pending when election would be conducted.
According to the new school fees released last year by the UNIBEN Senate, new students for College of Medicine were to pay N13,000 (N70,000 School fees+ 60,000 Acceptance Fee); while students of other faculties were to pay N110, 000 (50,000 school fees + 60,000 acceptance fee).
Hostel accommodation fee which used to be 7,000 Naira per student was increased to N17,000, which spiked protest from student union government after exhausting negotiation with the school management.
The rustication has been described as authoritarian since it was a peaceful protest to protect the interest of the entire student community.